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Interview with Bay Area multimedia artist Stephan Vladimir Bugaj

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Q. What is your connection to Oakland?

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A. I've been living and working in the Oakland suburbs for the last 12 years. We spend a lot of time eating, and taking our daughter to the Oakland Zoo. Sahn Maru, Southie, Shan Dong, Dopo, Everett & Jones, Dona Tomas, Burma Superstar and Pizzaiolo are favorites in Oakland, which I think has much better food, on average, than San Francisco.

Q. You voiced Bob Parr in The Incredible Socks. Was that fun?

A. It was a lot of fun.

I'm not a character animator, which is what most people think of when they say "animator". In my time at Pixar I've mainly been a Lead Technical Artist. As a generalist, I've done a lot of different things: surfacing / shading, cloth and hair simulation, rendering and compositing, software engineering, and a bit of VFX, lighting, camera, and modeling.

Q. What are you working on as an individual artist?

A. Outside of Pixar I do a lot of spec writing both by myself, and with writing partners.
I recently released a free eBook about the well known "Pixar's 22 Rules of Story" (which aren't really Pixar's), analyzing them in-depth.

I co-created an independent graphic novel "Amar," which will be out in 2014.

My feature film "Dragon Company" is in-development with Wojciech Stuchlik Film Production, currently slated to shoot in 2015. Another feature I wrote, "The Mines", is shopping for financing with Platige Image. I'm also currently working on other unannounced projects with other Directors and Producers in the U.S., Poland, England and India.

I also make music as Kuromaku (EDM) and Abteilung für Heimatsicherheit (Industrial), and will be putting out my first official Kuromaku releases in early 2014, starting with a release called "Into The Nexus".

As for my photography, I mainly focus on in-camera abstracts, and some industrial landscapes and re-photography. They were in a group show at the now defunct Transmissions Gallery in Albany (not the same as Transmission on West Grand), and a Pixar artist showcase in Emeryville

All that -- writing, visuals and sound -- comes together in my filmmaking, which is why I'm most vigorously pursuing writing scripts and seeking financing for my independent film (and motion comics) projects when it comes to my artistic life outside Pixar.

People can find out more about my upcoming work by following my blog or on Twitter.

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